Online video: the end of an awkward adolescence

Blinkx's founder, Suranga Chandratillake, peers into his crystal ball
Blinkx's founder, Suranga Chandratillake, peers into his crystal ball

2009 was the year that Online Video truly came of age. In its youth, it gave us dramatic chipmunks, soap in a microwave, and otters holding hands, before stumbling into adolescence with Rickrolling and LonelyGirl15.

This year, however, we experienced a sea change: Obama's inauguration drew 70 million viewers online (Nielsen); global web traffic shot up 33 per cent as the world logged on to watch the funeral of Michael Jackson; and half a million people paid to watch the England vs Ukraine football match streaming live over the Internet.

In 2009, web video evolved into online television, Hulu and the BBC iPlayer hit the mainstream, our PCs became TVs and suddenly, we had prime-time online.

So what does 2010 hold?

Content wars and Walled Gardens


From music to movies, from TV episodes to newspaper editorials, media companies are struggling with how to distribute their content online.

There's no doubt that the fragmentation of content across the web will continue, and we'll continue to see the volume of both video and text that's available online grow exponentially.

Some of this will be locked down in Walled Gardens, but a great deal of it will always be open and free to Internet users, supported by advertising. Either way, audiences will need an efficient, effective way to find that content so there's tremendous value in tools like blinkx that help make that connection.

Online video shakeout

BBC test card

IPTV and online video stories were rarely out of the headlines in 2009. The proposed launch of Project Kangaroo, and later Project Canvas, underlined how TV viewing habits has evolved and also the intense competition within the VoD industry

We saw some high-profile casualties this year (Joost) as a result of increased competition, but expect further shakeout in online video landscape in 2010.

Defection to digital


In 2009, a struggling economy forced brands to scrutinise the value of every penny of their ad spend, and, for the first time, online ad spend surpassed TV spend in the UK.

As we move out of the recession, and budgets bounce back, the defection to digital will continue, with the most aggressive growth seen in the online video advertising sector, as more and more brands recognise the potential of combining emotive, TV-style advertising with the interactivity of the web.

Blinkx is the world's largest video search engine. For more information visit


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